The soul fragment was the same woman whom Jing Huaci had seen at the foot of the silver peak. Instead of Empress Timelight’s soul remnant, she was a mere fake.
Now standing in the grandly lavish Myriad Returns City, she glared at Lu Yun with icy eyes. Though Empress Timelight’s inner demon had severed her connection to the Timelight Tower, she displayed no trace of fear.
Boom! Boom! Boom!
Heavy footsteps traveled ever closer; the fearsome crystal giant had already entered Myriad Returns City.
Miao paled slightly. “So it seems something terrifying was born in the tomb while I wasn’t paying attention.”
With a solemn gaze, she observed the giant as she waved her hand and transformed Myriad Returns City into a giant maze. The entire world became a vast expanse of labyrinthine whiteness that swallowed the impostor.
All the same, Lu Yun could still feel her eyes pierce through the many layers of space and fall squarely on him, so much so that he could feel physical pain on his skin.
“I can’t stop this monster. Hurry up and think of a solution!” Miao floated to his side as if out of habit, her fluffy tail winding around his arm like a puffed up balloon.
Lu Yun smacked his forehead. “Aren’t you the Monster Celestial Master? She’s just an impostor and a soul fragment, can’t you bring her to heel?”
The oppressive feeling coming from the giant high above was a little hard for him to bear.
“This is all your fault. Who told you to wake me up?” Miao shot him a scathing glare. “If I’d stayed asleep inside the resurrection formation, it wouldn’t have taken long for me to revive and rule over everything inside this tomb. But you just had to go and wake me up from my dream, so I’ve yet to recover.”
Lu Yun scratched his head, slightly embarrassed. Miao had been a mere true immortal back when she’d woken up, one that couldn’t even take human form.
Though he didn’t understand how she could possibly be here, her current self had certainly reached an unfathomable realm. At the very least, she wasn’t any weaker than the impostor.
“Didn’t you just use the Timelight Tower to reverse time and bring me back from the brink of death?” Lu Yun smiled wryly.
“The tower is Empress Timelight’s treasure. It was the empress herself who saved you,” Miao snapped back, her complexion set in a grimace.
Waves of destruction crashed upon her Myriad Returns City. As an art that could create something from nothing, it wasn’t an exaggeration to label Return to Origin the greatest art of the current age.
However, the crystal monster was so formidable that its strength was infinitely close to the great formation’s limits. More importantly, the soul fragment was still present. For some unfathomable reason, she’d managed to turn Empress Timelight’s soul into an internal demon and take her place, clear evidence of her abilities.
The combination of soul and crystal monster could easily destroy Myriad Returns City.
“Empress Timelight herself? The inner demon?” Lu Yun gasped in shock.
He’d been positive that the Monster Celestial Master had been the one who’d secretly deployed the Timelight Tower’s power, but as it turned out, it was the inner demon!
But at this moment, that very inner demon was a stream of dark light winding around Lu Yun and Jing Huaci, cutting off the impostor from the Timelight Tower.
“Take her with you and leave!” Lu Yun suddenly opened his eyes wide and handed Jing Huaci to Miao.
“You want me to take the little dragon away? What about you then?” Miao blinked.
“I have my own ways to escape, of course. The Timelight Tower and Jing Huaci’s physical body are the only things the soul’s after. So if you take them away, it’ll naturally follow you!” Lu Yun whispered. “This is your own tomb, your home turf. Don’t tell me you can’t run away in your own backyard.”
“You’re right… I can’t beat these two things, but getting away won’t be a problem.” Miao smiled a little sheepishly, then remembered something and turned stern. “My main body’s still in Dusk City. The me you see right now is but a dream, and I won’t remember anything when I wake up. So keep in mind to never, ever mention anything that happened here when you return. Otherwise, the moment I recover my memories, Xing Mou and Liu Qingmiao will return to my main self, and all my arrangements will have been for naught!”
Lu Yun froze. “Are you saying that you’d planned to split your soul all the way back in the Primordial Era?”
“Correct!” Maio exclaimed. “The immortal court needed the Monster Celestial Master, the primordial monster spirits needed their ancestor, and the primeval monster spirits needed a monster emperor!”
“Were you the reigning monster emperor before Emperors Fall?” Lu Yun gawked.
“I wasn’t... But after that period of time, on the eve of the multiverse’s most magnificent era, the opportunity to become a true emperor was right in front of me. How could I not seize it? In this lifetime, I wanted to sit on an imperial throne at least once!”
The moment Miao’s voice fell, another explosive rumble sounded from Myriad Returns City as the giant’s enormous head broke through multiple layers of formations and peered out from the void.
“Hurry up and leave!” Lu Yun started violently when he saw the impostor standing on the monster’s head. He immediately threw Jing Huaci to Miao and disappeared from sight.
“Gone?” Miao started. Her consciousness had unexpectedly lost his trail. “Well, isn’t it bold of you to impersonate an empress from when the emperors fell… That title is quite an ominous one, after all.”
Seeing Lu Yun depart, she held Jing Huaci tightly but didn’t move to leave herself. Instead, her face gradually turned transparent. Gust by gust, an evil wind started blowing inside the minor world.
“What in the heavens are you?” Standing on top of the monster’s head, the damaged soul froze when she sensed the change. There was even a hint of fear discernible on her face!
“Hehehehehe—” Miao’s silhouette disappeared from sight, while the badly-battered Myriad Returns City began restructuring itself.
Instead of its former atmosphere of opulence, the entire city turned an inky black. One by one, evil ghosts crawled out of the city. A ghost city—Myriad Returns City had become a ghost city!
As for Miao, her figure turned increasingly spectral, evil winds swirling around her figure and her extraordinarily handsome face now suffused with wickedness.
Two balls of ghostly fire suddenly flickered to life in her eyes.
Inside the lungs’ layout, Lu Yun heaved a long sigh of relief.
“I can’t go back to hell, for now, but at least I can transform into gaseous sand and be immediately collected by the lungs’ layout.” He stood up to once again size up the peculiar layout.
“Sure enough, a true pair of lungs of heaven and earth must’ve been born in this place at some time. It’s on another level altogether, compared to the one Xing Chen refined, but someone must’ve taken it.
“Anyway, the palace built by the soul fragment is real…. I should be able to infiltrate that place from here.” With a flip of the hand, the feng shui compass and Treasurefall Coin appeared in his palm.
Here we have another major time point being identified: Emperors Fall.